News

Jersey claims third award this year as it is named ‘Best International Financial Centre’

June 20th, 2014 by

Jersey’s competitive edge as an International Finance Centre (IFC) has been recognised by being named ‘Best International Financial Centre’ in the Professional Adviser International Fund and Product Awards 2014.

Now in their 15th year, the Awards, which are organised by leading international media group Incisive Media, are designed to reward and recognise the groups and centres which are at the cutting edge of distributing financial products and services internationally.

Winners, which were announced this week (16th June) were assessed by an independent panel of judges, who took into account a number of features including commitment to target market, appropriateness of product range and services, transparency, and levels of service and support.

Commenting on Jersey’s achievement, Deborah Benn, chair of the judging panel, said:

“Jersey uses a combination of expertise and speed to come up with effective solutions, particularly in the alternative investment sector. Judges were also impressed with Jersey’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) equivalent which shows a strong sense of which direction the wind is blowing in terms of professional standards. Overall, this year marks Jersey out as having an excellent competitive edge.”

Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, added:

“Over the past 12 months it has been crucial for IFCs to respond quickly and appropriately to the market, and winning this award is further evidence that Jersey has done that successfully. We are always looking to highlight the quality and range of fund services Jersey has to offer and its commitment to pursuing high standards of regulation and co-operation, particularly in this new era of AIFMD compliance, so it is encouraging when Jersey’s strengths are acknowledged in this way.’

It is the third award Jersey has won this year recognising its strengths as a finance centre, having been named ‘IFC of the Year’ in both the Wealthbriefing Europe Awards in May and the Citywealth IFC Awards in February. It follows on from a series of award successes in 2013 highlighting Jersey’s strengths as a funds, asset management, corporate structuring and private client centre.

First published by Jersey Finance Limited, Tuesday 17 June 2014


Common misconception about the application of (AIFMD) to small UK fund managers

June 17th, 2014 by

The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) requires fund managers whose regular business is managing an AIF to be authorised or registered as an AIFM.

A regulated firm, that is currently operating as a fund manager in the UK and managing one or more AIFs with total assets below certain thresholds, is regarded as a ‘small UK AIFM’ and is required to apply to the FCA to obtain the appropriate AIFMD authorisation or registration.

Some fund managers in the UK are under the impression that there is no obligation to be authorised or registered under AIFMD at all, simply because the assets they have under management fall below the thresholds introduced by the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulation (AIFMR) as implemented in the UK.

However, this is a common misconception, which sub-threshold fund managers must address now, as they are still required to apply to the FCA for a Variation of Permission (VoP) to become a small authorised UK AIFM or to register as a small registered UK AIFM by 22 July 2014.

A firm is considered as a small AIFM if the total amount of assets under management in one or more AIFs:

  • does not exceed EUR100 million in total, including any assets acquired through the use of leverage; or
  • does not exceed EUR500 million in total in cases where the portfolios of AIFs consist of AIFs that are unleveraged and have no redemption rights exercisable during a period of five years following the date of initial investment in each AIF.

If you are a small UK AIFM then you are not subject to the full operational requirements imposed by the AIFMD, however, you must still take action before 22 July 2014 to become either a small authorised UK AIFM or register as a small registered UK AIFM.

Beyond this date a firm is at risk of breaching its regulatory permissions and obligations, which may result in enforcement action from the FCA.

First published by Moore Stephens London, June 2014.


Moore Stephens attends Jersey Funds Association Annual Dinner

April 16th, 2014 by

Moore Stephens Fund Administration (MSFA) recently attended the Jersey Funds Association annual dinner which was attended by 440 guests,from a variety service providers in the industry.

The event included presentations by senior members of the JFA committee focusing on Jersey’s positive approach to the introduction of AIFMD, which has meant that Jersey is one of the first jurisdictions to provide full AIFMD compliant fund structures, alongside the comprehensive suite of fund offerings already available.

A compelling talking point of the evening was the current collaboration and discussions taking place between the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and the JFA to unify the current funds regulations under a single regulatory framework to provide clarity to providers, with a view to ensuring that the jurisdiction remains top of mind for fund promoters.


Positive future outlook for real estate and private equity highlighted at Jersey funds conference

March 31st, 2014 by

Funds professionals are anticipating particular growth in the real estate and private equity asset classes, according to the results of a poll held at the Jersey Finance Annual London Funds Conference this week.

At the conference, held in London on 19th March, an audience of senior funds professionals was asked where they saw most growth coming from in the months ahead. 33% of attendees indicated that real estate was the biggest growth area for them, with 27% indicating that they saw most potential in private equity.

Attendees also said they thought most opportunities would come from outside of Europe, with 37% suggesting Asia was the most interesting growth market, closely followed by Africa and Latin America (26% each).

The conference, which attracted an audience of more than 400 leading lawyers, asset managers and other UK-based funds professionals, featured a keynote session from the award winning author and journalist Gillian Tett, who discussed global wealth inequality, and an interview with Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management.

Two panel sessions featured Jersey, UK and global funds and regulatory experts, including Tajinder Singh, Deputy Secretary General, International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). They highlighted that, whilst regulatory moves like the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) are complex, fund managers shouldn’t be afraid of regulation and that there are solutions to suit managers’ varying requirements.

Panellists also argued that, despite an onslaught of complex regulation, there is a strong future for alternative asset classes, pointing in particular to the trend for more and more sovereign wealth funds, private clients and family offices looking to alternative investments as part of their portfolio, as well as the more established institutional investors.

Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, gave an introduction to the conference indicating that he saw opportunities for Jersey in the face of rising reporting requirements:

“Given Jersey’s specialist expertise in fund governance, we see real opportunities for managers to draw on that and outsource their administration needs to Jersey, to help facilitate increasingly complex reporting requirements under the AIFMD. The response we have had from the international funds community in response to the AIFMD more widely has been really encouraging too. In the run up to the end of the implementation phase in July, we have seen a number of firms relocating to or expanding in Jersey, including Brevan Howard, CVC and Ardian.

“It is interesting that our audience shares our belief in the real estate and private equity market in particular. We are seeing a growing number of real estate funds being structured through Jersey, targeting major UK and continental European property assets, including recent examples involving prime sites in London and Paris. In addition, the largest ever real estate fund to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, the Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate fund, was structured through Jersey, with a capital raise of over £1bn.”

Adding that the number of funds established in Jersey currently stands at over 1,500, the highest level since the crisis began, Geoff continued:

“It was a clear theme from our conference that whilst managers are still cautious about the AIFMD, there are real solutions and Jersey is undoubtedly a very attractive one. Flexibility, expertise and clarity are key for asset managers and, with its ability to offer ongoing AIFMD-compliant private placement into Europe and a non-European regime entirely outside the scope of the AIFMD, we feel Jersey is extremely well placed to support the real state and private equity growth our audience expects.”

First published by Jersey Finance Limited, 25 March 2014


Latest figures show strength and stability of Jersey’s finance industry

March 18th, 2014 by

Despite 2013 being a challenging year for Jersey’s finance industry, with economic, regulatory and political backdrop, the latest figures illustrate a solid performance across all sectors. Jersey’s resilience over the past year is an encouraging sign and has sparked optimism among the finance industry.

The latest figures demonstrate that the net asset value of funds administered in Jersey over the quarter stand at £192.1 billion, a figure almost identical to the previous year. The strongest performance last year was achieved by the sophisticated end of the funds market, with a growth in real estate, and unregulated funds still on the rise.

In the third quarter of 2013 there were 635 company incorporations, resulting in a total of 32,479 live companies on Jersey’s company register, a similar figure to December 2012.

Within the banking sector, the final quarter of 2013 saw Jersey deposits decrease by around 3.6% to stand at £139.9 billion, with deposits emanating from the Middle and Far East, still representing 17% of that figure.

By the end of 2013 Jersey’s total global market capitalization stood at £168.6 billion with Jersey companies listed on stock exchanges worldwide. Most significant were the 48 companies on the London Stock Exchange AIM market and 40 on the main market, as well as on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange, Euronext and NASDAQ.

The latest figures from Jersey’s Business Tendency Survey suggest that the finance sector is positive about its long-term prospects at the start of 2014, with firms reporting the highest levels of optimism about future business activity, profitability and employment since 2011.

Statistics for the last quarter of 2013, collated and prepared by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, are also positive with an increase in funds under investment management and an increase in the number of unregulated funds despite a slight drop in funds under administration and regulated funds.

Geoff Cook, Chief Executive, Jersey Finance, commented:

“With individual businesses reporting busy and successful months, there is reason to be optimistic. The strength of the Jersey proposition across sectors is attractive and continues to receive full support from investors worldwide.”


Growth in high value real estate and private equity structures testament to Jersey’s global appeal

March 14th, 2014 by

According to Jersey Finance, there has been an increase in the number of high value Real Estate and Private Equity funds structured in Jersey since the start of 2014. This increased interest demonstrates the island’s growing appeal as an alternative investment funds domicile.

Jersey Finance highlighted several key examples of funds managers who have advised private equity firms on their latest funds, with closed commitments valued from £250 million to £500 million.

Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, is quoted as saying “These are not isolated cases, but build on examples we saw last year too and we fully expect this trend to continue.

It is extremely encouraging that we are seeing not just sustained use of Jersey structures across real estate and private equity asset classes, but that the funds being structured through Jersey are amongst some of the most ground-breaking transactions completed in recent times.”

Jersey is a key jurisdiction for EU and non EU Real estate and private equity fund structuring because of the high level of skilled practitioners present in the island, flexible but robust regulation and a good variety of appropriate products and structures.

This will be further explored at this year’s Jersey Finance Annual Funds Conference held in London. The panel will discuss Jersey’s private investment vehicles and why investors are making use of Jersey’s infrastructure investments, global real estate and private equity structures.


Germany property sales reach €183.3 billion in 2013

March 10th, 2014 by

It was announced last week that the total amount of property sales in Germany reached €183.3 billion which equates to an increase of 9% from the 2012 to the 2013 year period. The data was collated by IVD (Immobilienverband Deutschland) and calculated on the basis of land transfer tax revenue which is collected by the Federal Ministry of Finance. The largest percentage increase noted was in Saxony which saw an increase of 24.7%, taking the total price of property sales in the area to €5.8 billion. Berlin followed closely behind with an increase of 23.8% reaching €14.7 billion.

Three states that experienced a decrease in property sales were Hesse, Bremen and Saarland. Hesse experienced a substantial decrease of 10.7% in sales which has been attributed to a significant increase in real estate transfer tax from 3.5% to 5% in the region.

Moore Stephens Fund Administration Limited in Jersey administers a number of property structures for clients who hold property in Germany and can confirm they have experienced the effects of this rising trend that has occurred in 13 out of 16 states.

For further information, please contact:

Robert Luetkehaus, robert.luetkehaus@moorestephens-jersey.com


New UK FATCA guidance available from HMRC

March 6th, 2014 by

HM Revenue and Customs has released further draft guidance on ‘UK FATCA’. The notes cover obligations for UK financial institutions set out in the International Tax Compliance (Crown Dependencies and Gibraltar) Regulations 2014, known as UK FATCA.

The notes will help financial institutions understanding their obligations under the new legislations, including the requirement to regularly report on individuals who are resident in the Crown Dependencies or Gibraltar.

HMRC notes that the obligations being introduced are deliberately similar to those introduced by the USA under the International Tax Compliance (United States of America) Regulations 2013. As a result of this, the majority of detailed guidance on definitions, identification obligations and due diligence procedures is the same as in the US legislation, and the guidance notes therefore focus on any differences in the new reporting obligations that will now be faced by UK financial institutions.

HMRC’s information on improving tax compliance can be found here (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/fatca/index.htm) and the draft guidance notes can be accessed here (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/fatca/int-tax-comp-regs.pdf).

For more information on obligations for UK financial institutions under with the US or UK FATCA legislation, please contact Moore Stephens…


New FATCA and Co-ordination Regulations

March 6th, 2014 by

The US Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have released an update on the new FATCA and Coordination Regulations.

The updated FATCA regulations contain over 50 amendments to the original document and have worked to develop rules that achieve an appropriate balance between fulfilling the policy objectives and minimising the burdens for financial institutions while ensuring that they still keep in line with the regime and what it aims to achieve.

The Co-ordination Regulations have also been drafted in a way that ensures they are compatible with the requirements of other areas of US tax e.g. the Qualified Intermediary regime and FATCA.

The updated FATCA regulations can be accessed via the following link: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/FATCA-Temporary-and-Final-Regs-under-chapter-4.pdf

The Coordination Regulations can be accessed via the following link: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/Chapters-3-61-coordinating-regs.pdf

If you have any questions or for further information on FATCA and the updated regulations please contact Nick Solt on 01534 880088.


Moore Stephens Fund Administration sponsors London funds conference

March 6th, 2014 by

Moore Stephens Fund Administration (MSFA) are supporting the 2014 Jersey Finance Annual Funds Conference, taking place in London on Wednesday 19 March.

The firm is a sponsor of the conference which is titled, ‘Through the Looking Glass’. Sessions will focus on two separate areas; ‘A Winding Journey’, which will give an insight into the evolving global funds landscape and, ‘Looking Ahead’, which will bring the sophisticated funds market into focus.

As part of the programme, world-class speakers and panel sessions consisting of high-calibre professionals will provide insights and thought provoking commentary on the ever evolving funds landscape and market. A range of professional practitioners are expected to attend including those from the legal, funds and other finance professions.

The event will take place at 8 Northumberland Avenue in London and tickets cost £315 for Jersey Finance members and are free for London based delegates. For further information please visit: http://www.jerseyfinance.je/events/the-jersey-finance-annual-funds-conference-2014#.UvuN8fl_vQA